Richie Furay

Dance a Little Light

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Though recorded by what was technically a Christian rock group, the Richie Furay band's Dance a Little Light is a far cry from the heavy-handed, musically inept evangelizing often associated with the genre. Despite his then-recent born-again status, Furay was still the same guy who played a pivotal role in two of the most important and influential country-rock bands of all time, Poco and Buffalo Springfield. Consequently, this record is characterized by the same soaring, spot-on harmonies, easy-flowing feeling, and tight ensemble playing that characterized the best work of his former groups. In fact, many of the songs here could easily be outtakes from a classic Jackson Browne or Eagles album (and in fact, latter-day Eagles bassist Timothy B. Schmit guests on several tracks). Really, the only evidence of Furay's newfound lifestyle is the overwhelmingly positive attitude of the songs and the occasional vague lyrical reference to a life-changing experience. The best track is the closer, "Stand Your Ground," which is perhaps the best Poco song Poco never recorded and includes great work from ex-bandmates Schmit and pedal steel genius Rusty Young. Other highlights include an exuberant southern California-ized version of Doc Pomus and Mort Schuman's classic "This Magic Moment" and "Your Friends," which finds a wizened Furay singing what could be seen as an impetus for his personal transformation: "When you're down and out/There ain't a friend in the world that'll help you out/But when you get on your feet again/Everyone will want to be your friend." Overall, Furay's natural, joyous, and human approach to music-making throughout the album places Dance a Little Light among his most convincing work.

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